Caution sees slow ordering but growers forecast a late surge

Growers at trade show predict upturn in business but warn of possible shortages ahead too.

Growers at the GroSouth trade show earlier this month (7 November) reported that business is slow as continuing caution among customers leads to later ordering.

But despite the low orders at the moment, many growers are confident that business will improve, predicting a late surge. But some warned that the industry will take longer to recover, with little improvement until 2014.

"It's slow and people are ordering less," said Botany Bay sales and product development manager Tim Johns. "Also, people are trying to squeeze their suppliers more. I think it will turn out to be a steady season, like last year, because people have to make a profit in the spring."

He added: "People are booking up to week 16 but not wanting to commit afterwards, so we are not doing much in the later weeks at the moment. There might be a bit of a shortage, which might not be a bad thing."

Syngenta area sales manager Pete Gillman said: "We need to encourage confidence. People are ordering later, which is not surprising with the year we've had, but they will need plants. When people want to buy them they will have to be there. We can't produce them at the last minute. There will be a rush."

However, some growers predicted it would not be until 2014 before sales fully recover. Peter Eastwood Plants owner Peter Eastwood said: "We are doing less for next year. We are trying not to build up stuff that's going to end in a heap. I don't think it will take off again next year. There is the effect of this year's weather and the economy is worse than many people are saying.

"Also, impatiens downy mildew has harmed the market. If people planted them and they failed, they might not do anything. People are short of time - they are having to work harder. We did have the jubilee and the Olympics, and we won't have those factors next year."

Blue Ribbon Plants sales manager Philip Sanders said the conditions this year are having positive effects on how buyers are behaving. "We are not getting people trying to knock down prices for a change," he added.

"People are not discount hunting. They are looking at the quality of the plants more. It's showing a trend to it not just being about low prices. It's about quality."

Suppliers report tough market conditions but say next year is looking better

Graham Meadowcroft, owner, Brockhill Nurseries - "It's tough. We always have stock lined up for September and this year it hasn't gone. It should be good next year. The local orders are still coming in. Further afield things aren't selling but there will be gaps by February and they will need to fill them."

Jim McAlpine, managing director, Fargro - "Next year could be a good one for the industry. Growers have been cautious but if the weather is with them they could do very well. For Fargro, this year has been a good year and we are looking forward to a better year in 2013."

David Spray, owner, Pentland Plants - "Next year is going well and it should be fine. People are coming back with orders. We are well up on last year already and we have got some new customers."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Using the right fertilisers on your crops can make all the difference when it comes to securing repeat customers, Sally Drury advises.

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

Venue modernisation will mean better display space for exhibitors at Europe's largest trade fair for the horticulture industry, says Gavin McEwan.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles